I started watching Cougar Town on its first episode, which, like, NOBODY did, mainly because it was the only show I could get to play while I was on the treadmill.
I LOVED it. The insanity of Busy Phillips, Christa Lawrence, and Courteney Cox was addictive, and it was, indeed, a nearly ideal treadmill show. Then I started watching it at its regular time, and looking forward to it being on. It’s one of those shows that pastors don’t really want to admit that they watch, but I KNOW YOU DO, because I do, too. The title is horrific, but they KNOW that and even make fun of it, and that’s how I started to think about the attitude of the show and the attitude of the church.
Stay with me. And watch this clip:
One of my favorite podcast people (and bloggers), Tara Ariano, makes the point in her blog for Slate that Cougar Town is playful about the gap in their schedule, and even about their possible impending cancellation! It’s like they don’t CARE! They do, obviously, because they love working together and they love the show, but they’re realistic enough to know that they better enjoy any time they have together and play with the fact that their future is uncertain.
I got some really good advice from another pastor about our whole financial crisis/control issue/fraught council meetings situation. He’s a systems theorist, and his advice was to be playful about it!
Playful, I thought. Right. This is my JOB at stake. It’s my CHURCH at stake. EVERYTHING’S AT STAKE!!!!!!!!!!!! (extra exclamation points intentional)
Well, it’s not. It doesn’t all have to be SO SERIOUS. God loves us. Someone already died for our sins. And Cougar Town is teaching me the lesson that no organization or show or church knows how long we have, so we might as well hang out in the cul de sac, drink wine, and try to really, really, enjoy the HELL out of what we do. They know who they are, and they don’t try to pretend to be anything they’re not, and it’s making me love them for it.
Can’t we try to do the same as churches whose future is uncertain? Play in the moment. Drink wine in the cul de sac. Take care of each other. Make fun of our quirks, but fiercely defend each other as well. And enjoy the hell out of what we do and who we’re called to be.